Jen Thom is a Bay Area native who believes in the power of communication to advance social justice and create meaningful change in people’s everyday lives. She specializes in distilling complex ideas and systems into compelling and actionable messages, and developing campaigns and engagement opportunities to drive change. At Spitfire Jen directs strategy and message development, leads trainings with clients including Magnet Schools of America, Impact 2030 and Friends of the Verde River, and provides clients with day-to-day counsel.
Most recently at The San Francisco Foundation, Jen helped launch the Foundation’s renewed focus on advancing racial and economic inclusion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Working with teams across the organization, she developed strategies and messages to motivate their unique audiences to join the effort. Jen developed engagement plans for partners critical to the Foundation’s new direction, including fellow funders, the Foundation’s community of donors and grantees, public sector partners and private-sector influencers. She developed messaging and video assets to support the new strategy and rolled out a regional survey on race and inclusion with a four-part the Commonwealth Club discussion series that included media partnerships. Jen supported the Foundation’s CEO transition through messaging, materials and by supporting VOICE: Bay Area – a seven-city listening tour designed to re-engage with constituents and hear residents’ lived experiences to inform strategic planning.
Prior to The San Francisco Foundation, Jen worked at Fenton, a social change communications firm, helping a range of clients tell their stories and make the impact they want to see in the world. She worked with organizations such as Annie E. Casey Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, First 5 LA, Los Angeles Housing Services Authority and the Transgender Law Center to develop communication plans and campaigns and earn positive media coverage. While at Fenton, Jen was part of the team that coordinated a media campaign for Annie E. Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, securing regional and national coverage for their report on alternatives to incarceration through a coordinated 12-state media blitz.
Jen began her career at St. Anthony’s in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, a multi-program homeless services organization, where she built and executed fundraising strategies. She was drawn to St. Anthony’s after learning about poverty and homelessness policy through her reporting on Care Not Cash while earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Francisco State University.